In short

A brilliant ‘clean eating’ dining experience

Review

This place absolutely knocked our socks off!

Visited by both amateur and professional athletes alike, the menu at the restaurant is designed for customers who know what they want, but kind to those who are still learning the ropes of good nutrition.

Social media has been buzzing about this place for a while and for good reason.

When we walked into the Leyton branch we fell in love immediately. Normally when you think of restaurants that attract clean eaters and athletes, you can’t help but assume that the interior décor would be equally ‘tough’ or ‘rugged’, but the restaurant is designed and decorated in a way that says ‘yes, our menu is perfect for clean eaters but everyone is welcome!’

Gyms Kitchen Interior

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everything you need to make an informed decision is available on the menu: calories, fat, carbs and protein. The menu was also incredibly diverse and included appetisers, salads, wraps, protein pancakes – you can even order a banana split.

You’ll also find that there are options for vegetarians and the menu also indicates which meals are gluten free.

The food here is beautifully presented and the portion sizes are out of this world. When we ordered the tuna steak we genuinely expected one of those dainty sized portions that you get in other restaurants, but Gyms Kitchen make sure you leave fully satiated.

Another great attribute of this restaurant is the customer service – our waitress was polite, engaging, knowledgeable and friendly which added to our dining experience.

During our visit our server informed us that kitchen didn’t usually allow menu modifications as it could impact service times – an explanation we were quite happy with. Given that there is genuinely something for everyone on the menu, we felt it was a fair decision.

It’s obvious that a lot of thought was put into the execution of this restaurant, from the food and the staff to the bill pouch.

Gratuity was included in the price but we were so happy with the service that we wanted to leave a tip.

It didn’t feel like we were eating healthy as such, it felt as though we had gone out for dinner in a great restaurant that happened to serve nutritionally responsible food.

This is the type of place that we would like to see as a concession in gyms around the country.

Gyms Kitchen is proof that clean, honest food does not have to be boring or void of taste.

What we tried:

Gyms Kitchen Chicken Wings

 

 

 

 

 

 


Chicken Wings

Gyms Kitchen Grilled Halloumi 2

 

 

 

 

 

 


Grilled Halloumi

Gyms Kitchen Rump Steak 2

 

 

 

 

 

 


Rump Steak

Gyms Kitchen Tuna Steak 2

 

 

 

 

 

 


Tuna Steak

Gyms Kitchen Garlic Spinach and Spicy Rice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Garlic Spinach and Spicy Rice

Gyms Kitchen Banana Split 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Banana Split

Gyms Kitchen Peanut Butter Ice Cream 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peanut Butter Protein Ice Cream

What we liked

  • Nutritional information is easy to find
  • Portion sizes are ample
  • Customer service is second to none

What we would do differently

Give the option of peanut butter ice cream in the banana split (pretty please!)

Who can eat here?

Carb Conscious and Calorie Counter Busy Bodies will have the most fun here but Gluten Aware, Vegetarian and Vegan Busy Bodies will also find suitable options on the menu.

Value for money

Our bill for all of the above came to £41.72 including gratuity.

We think this was incredibly good value for money – especially given the portion sizes.

Locations

Leyton: 388-392 High Road Leyton London United Kingdom E10 6RT

Gants Hill: 376 – 378 Cranbrook Road, Gants Hill, Essex, IG2 6HW

Find out more

www.gymskitchen.com

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One of the things we aim to do here at Balanced Busy Bodies is provide busy people with solutions that fit in with their busy lifestyle so we were excited to be given the opportunity to review Ozeri CardioTech Premium Series Digital Blood Pressure Monitor with Color Alert Technology.

Ozeri Blood Pressure Monitor

Sometimes we all get so caught up in calculating calories and investigating food labels that we forget to take a step back and look out our lifestyle from a wider vantage point.

A busy lifestyle can lead to high blood pressure which can have a profound effect on your life.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, office blood pressure readings taken by a doctor are more likely to be higher than readings measured at home, so monitoring your blood pressure at home is more likely to give you an accurate reading – if done properly.

This blood pressure monitor is a bit different than other blood pressure monitors we’ve seen in that the cuff goes around your wrist – not your upper arm – and your arm needs to be held exactly as per the directions in order to get an accurate reading.

That said, we found it really easy to use and passed it around for the team to try. We’re happy to report that we all have normal blood pressure!

One of the more unique aspects of this blood pressure monitor is the Advanced Color-coded Hypertension Indicator that colour codes your readings according to World Health Organization hypertension guidelines. So when you get your reading you’ll also get an indication as to where your blood pressure is according to the colour of the LCD. Green indicates normal levels; orange indicates prehypertension levels and red indicates hypertension levels. So if you’re a newbie to blood pressure readings you can let the colours guide you as to where your blood pressure levels are.

This Ozeri Blood Pressure Monitor is also compact and portable so you can use it wherever you want to.

All in all, we think this is a useful piece of kit for anyone who likes to measure their blood pressure regularly.

The blood pressure monitor comes with 2xAAA batteries and can be purchased on Amazon.

Pancake Tuesday is one of those days that a lot of carb conscious BusyBodies just try to ignore – or schedule their cheat meals on.

Thankfully, the leading online sports nutrition site, Myprotein, have developed a Pancake Mix that will keep you on track.

Myprotein pancakes

Myprotein’s pancake mix is a ready to make high protein, low GI, great tasting snack. It includes three types of protein (whey, milk and egg protein) which can help with the growth and maintenance of lean mass. These protein pancakes are ideal for breakfast or as a nutritious snack in between meals and provide over 30g of protein per 50g serving.

Order by the 3rd of March and you can get 25% off your Myprotein Pancake Mix with the code FEB4UK.

We’d love to see what how you use your pancake mix so if you come up with any particularly inspired toppings make sure to snap and share.


Valentines Day is upon us again! While you’ll no doubt be bombarded with adverts promoting mainstream sweets, we’re pleased to inform you that there are more nutritionally responsible treats available for balanced busybodies than ever before.

Two brands that have really grabbed our interest this year are The Raw Chocolate Company and Pudology which both happen to be vegan.

The Raw Chocolate CompanyThe Raw Chocolate Company has been established since 2006 and produce a wide range of raw chocolate.

They may not come in heart shapes, but when you open up a one of their 44g bars of  chocolates, you’ll find a message of love on the inside of the wrapper. Furthermore, they show a lot of love and respect to the environment by choosing ethically sourced ingredients and using renewable energy source for their production process.

You can buy their products directly from their website, or pick them up at a retailer near you

PudologyThe next brand we’re keen to introduce you to is Pudology. Gluten free, dairy free, egg free but delectable nonetheless. The Pudology philosophy is that you shouldn’t ‘miss out on indulgence because you can’t eat dairy’ – and we fully agree!

Whether you go for Banoffee, Chocolate, Strawberry, Lemon or all four, your Valentine’s Day won’t be short on decadence. These treats can be purchased at Selfridges, Fortnum & Mason and Waitrose and during Valentine’s week, you can get 1/3 off of these gluten free treats at Waitrose.

For more info head to http://www.pudology.com/

Happy Valentines!

In short

The gluten free menu additions are well thought through AND tasty

Review

Pizza Express feels like a British high street staple, however, until recently, if you are coeliac or gluten intolerant, Pizza Express would not have been high on your list of places to eat (for obvious reasons.)

Thankfully, Pizza Express have shown their awareness of changing customer requirements by launching a comprehensive gluten free menu this autumn.

It’s reassuring to see that a great deal of research has obviously gone into this menu. For example, the gluten free base is not available for all the pizzas, such as the Sloppy Giuseppe, because some of the toppings contain gluten. Furthermore, coeliacs can also safely enjoy a brownie AND a beer from Pizza Express which sets them apart from their competitors.

This shows that Pizza Express is not treating the gluten free movement as a trend but as a genuine dietary requirement.

Calorie counters can also find the nutritional info on the website and will be pleased to see that the new menu also includes a superfood salad which has baby spinach, roasted butternut squash, beetroot, light baby mozzarella and other nutritious ingredients.

Their lower calorie Legerra pizzas are also still available for their customers who tend to keep a close eye on their calories.

What we tried:

Gran Padano on a gluten free pizza base

Gran Padano on a Gluten Free base

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can taste the difference between the gluten free base and their standard base, but that’s to be expected and the taste wasn’t bland. The base did go hard a little more quickly than the standard base, but again that was to be expected (and we are notoriously slow eaters)

Superfood salad

Pizza Express Superfood Salad

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our tester wasn’t a huge fan of it and felt that it was ‘filling but bland’

Pollo Ad Astra Legerra

Pizza Express Pollo Ad Astra Legarra

 

 

 

 

 

Again, this one didn’t get a great response from our tester as she felt that her ‘salad was just leaves, rather than an actual mixed vegetable salad, therefore very boring’.

What we liked

 

The food was visually appealing

There was no extra charge for the gluten free option

The gluten free menu was clearly thought through and well researched

Their website is clear and concise

Their allergy information can be downloaded from the site

Their nutritional information can also be downloaded from the site

What we would do differently

 

The superfood salad may benefit from a few more herbs to add more flavour without raising the calories

Who can eat here?

Calorie Counters Try the Legerra pizzas
Carb Conscious Superfood Salad with Chicken (ask for your balsamic syrup on the side)
Gluten Aware Anything with the GF symbol next to it
Vegetarian Anything with the ‘v’ symbol next to it
Vegan Vegans are limited to roasted tomatoes, olives marinate, macron almonds, dough balls (if butter is substituted for oil), a side salad, sorbet, Nocellara Del Belice olives.

Value for money

 

Gran Padano on GF base

Superfood Salad

Polla Ad Astra Leggera

Loyalty card

No loyalty card per se but there are regular offers and promotions available if you sign up to receive their newsletters. We used a 25% off voucher and the gluten free pizza base was included in the discount.

Locations

There are more than 400 in the UK. Find your local Pizza Express here

Find out more

www.pizzaexpress.com

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Travel KitWhichever your mode of transport to your holiday destination, accessing everything you need for your dietary requirements can sometimes be tricky.

The best way to overcome this challenge is to travel with your own nosh! Here are some suggestions that are kind to your carry-on luggage:

We think that the SmartShake has to be hands down the ultimate travelling companion. You don’t need to be a protein shake drinker to gain the benefits of this brilliant piece of kit. The bottom two compartments are great for storing nibbles or vitamins and once you have cleared security, you can fill it up at a water fountain and avoid paying through the nose for bottled water.

The Starbucks Card is really useful for coffee lovers. Simply upload it with some cash before you head out and when you get to your destination you can still get your coffee fix without fumbling around for foreign currency or worrying about the transaction fees that come with using your debit card. Furthermore, drinks you purchase abroad will count towards your rewards.

Vegetarians may want to keep a few Bounce Balls to hand when preparing for travel. These nutrient dense balls are gluten free, a great source of protein, perfectly sized for long and short haul journeys and made using only the best ingredients.

Carb Conscious Busy Bodies will be pleased to know that many of the reputable protein brands provide protein in individual sized sachets, so you can still keep your protein intake up on those long haul flights. However, if you prefer whole foods for your source of protein, Pro Beef protein snack is a brilliant travel companion – it’s lean, clean and doesn’t come with the pungent aroma of traditional beef jerky.

Baby Food may sound like an unlikely option, but babies often times eat better than adults. Brands like Organix make baby crisps that rival supermarket ‘low cal’ crisps. The Organix Organic Sweetcorn Rings, for instance, are suitable for coeliacs and vegetarians and only contain around 96 calories per bag.

Munchy Seeds are an all-rounder where travel snacks are concerned. All of their products (except the Honey and Choccy varieties) are suitable for vegans.

This is just a round up of products that we have tried, but we know that there are more out there!

If you have a favourite product or brand that helps to get you safely from one terminal to another, let us know and you could win a travel kit! Click here for more details.

Win a Travel Kit

By BBB

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can win a travel kit by simply telling us what your favourite travel snack is.

The kit contains:

1 SmartShake
1 Pro Beef protein snack (or Bounce Ball for vegetarians)
3 x Munchy Seeds
1 Pecan Nakd Bar

There are two kits to give away – one pink and one blue!

Competition ends at midnight on the 31st of January and you can enter more than once.

Good luck!

BBB Travel Competition 2

In short

A tasty wheat free, gluten free AND dairy free bread – now at a supermarket near you

Review

We discovered the BFree brand while visiting the International Food and Drink Event in ExCel last year.

BFree Bread Shaped BenchInitially we were intrigued by the bread shaped bench on their stand, but when we discovered that they were a gluten free brand we were excited! Staff was more than happy to chat with us about their brand and it only took a few minutes for us to realise that BFree Foods are serious about ensuring that coeliacs can enjoy a sandwich:

  • They work with experts in their fields to ensure that the full range has the best nutritional profile possible.
  • BFree has developed a recipe and composition that replaces the gluten and wheat and with natural ingredients.
  • BFree’s breads contain a blend of natural flours, starches and proteins and are made in a dedicated gluten free facility with batch testing done on all productions to ensure that there are no traces of gluten.

Most interestingly for us is the fact that unlike many GF products, BFree have the lowest fat content (1.5%), are high in fibre and have the lowest calorie breads in the ‘Free From’ market at just 60 calories per slice.

What more could you ask for in a gluten free bread?

Taste

Photo 20-03-2013 10 31 03When we tasted the bread we were pleased that we couldn’t tell that it was a gluten free bread, but to ensure that our opinion wasn’t biased (the stand was that cool) we asked some of our testers for their opinion.

Our coeliac tester said: ‘The bread was nice and soft and toasted well! It didn’t go horribly dry after toasting which happens with some other brands’.

Our non-coeliac tester noted that ‘the wraps are fine cold, but when we heated them they had a different smell than we were used to. That said, the wraps remained soft and not soggy after heating and I was able to make a lovely chicken wrap for dinner’

What we liked

The taste – you probably wouldn’t know it is gluten free by the taste alone

The packaging – may sound like a random point, but the packaging just makes eating gluten and wheat free food feel cool

What we would do differently

We’re looking forward to seeing BFree in more UK retailers

Cost

Wheat and Gluten Free Multigrain Wraps – £2.80 for 6

Wheat and Gluten Free High Fibre Brown Seeded Loaf (400g) – £2.49

Wheat & Gluten Free Low Fat Soft White Loaf (400g) – £2.49

Wheat & Gluten Free High Fibre Brown Seeded Rolls (4 x 75g) – £2.59

Wheat & Gluten Free Low Fat Soft White Rolls (4 x 75g) – £2.59

Where to find them

The Multigrain Wraps are available in the ‘free from’ aisle in Asda,

The full range is also available at Ocado

Find out more

www.bfreefoods.com

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Tossed

 

 

 

In short

Tossed encourages a balanced approach by offering a wide choice of options

Review

Tossed was recommended to us by a student athlete who liked the fact that he could get a healthy meal on the go. So we headed off to the branch in Westfield, Stratford City with a big appetite and high expectations.

Tosser Mug

The Tossed brand is clean and attractive and somehow manages to make healthy eating seem kinda fun. They are also more than happy to play up to their name with cute novelty items like mugs that say ‘I’m a tosser’ and ‘My man’s a tosser’.

Tossed - WorkWe were happy to see loads of little nutrition tips on the till and around the salad bar. The salad bar was full of lots of goodies which we tried to photograph but staff said photo taking was a no-no so you’ll have to get down there to check it out for yourself. You’ll find a number of protein options in addition to clean carbs and a wide range of sensible toppings and dressings. Vegetarian and vegan options are quite clearly signposted, and the menu appears to be fairly coeliac friendly (apart from the wraps) but it’s always worth asking the question.

Nutritional information can be downloaded from the site but you’ll need a calculator and a little patience to figure out the value of your meal.

There is a charge for swapping items on the house menu, unless you are a vegetarian and wish to swap a meat item for another item. Their menu also includes fresh fruit juices, low fat smoothies and milkshakes.

As much as we were in love with the ethos, options and attention to detail, we felt that our menu choices were a bit lacking in flavor and moreishness. To be fair, this may be down to the fact that we opted for cold options.

This is definitely a great place for anyone who has made a commitment to balanced, healthy living and whose taste buds have adjusted to their healthier lifestyle.

What we tried:

Chipotle Chicken Salad with a half brown rice and half lettuce base

Tossed Chicken Chipotle Salad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Greek Wrap

Tossed - Greek Wrap

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What we liked

The fact that Tossed was the first UK establishment to display the nutritional value of their meals

The fact that they play up to their name

What we would do differently

Give an approximate nutritional value of some of the meals

Who can eat here?

Calorie Counters The Tossed menu is your oyster as all the calorie information you need is there
Carb Conscious Muscle Builder on a lettuce base
Gluten Aware Grilled Halloumi
Vegetarian Chipotle Salad or Wrap with Falafel
Vegan Greek Salad or Wrap with Avocado

 

Value for money

Their prices are a little on the steep end for what you are getting:

Chicken Chipotle Salad £7.45

Greek Wrap £6.95

Loyalty card

They are currently running an offer where you can get a week of hot drinks for a fiver with their coffee card. Ask in store for details.

Locations

You can see their list of stores here

Find out more

www.tosseduk.com

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ProBeefPacket

In short

Clean, great tasting on-the-go protein that you don’t have to drink

Review

Beef jerky is one of those moreish snacks that some carb conscious busy bodies like because it adds variety to their diet. The biggest issues clean eaters have with beef jerky are the added sugar, gluten and MSG that finds its way into mainstream brands.

Pro Beef has managed to launch a beef jerky product that contains none of the above mentioned nasties that actually tastes good. Furthermore, it’s not as tough to chew as some other brands so you don’t feel your jaw muscles growing with every bite.

The biggest feature for us though, has to be the fact that it doesn’t stink out a room when you open it. Beef jerky is typically one of those snacks that everyone knows about if you are eating it in an enclosed space, but we tried ours on public transport and didn’t receive a single dirty look – result!

The only downer is that we had to wrestle with the packet a little in order to get into it. It’s ok if you’re at your desk and have a pair of scissors nearby but may be a bit of a challenge when you’re glycogen depleted post workout and finding it difficult to even tie your shoes!

Here’s how it stacks up against a mainstream brand:

What we tried:

Original flavour

Peri Peri flavour

What we liked

It’s clean, convenient and tasty

100% British grass fed beef

What we would do differently

Make the packet a little more user friendly

Who can eat this?

Obviously not vegetarians and vegans

It is, however, perfectly fine for Carb Conscious, Calorie Counters and Gluten Aware busy bodies

Value for money

At £2.99 a pop, it’s more expensive than other brands, but given the quality – that’s to be expected. Keep an eye on their website for promo codes

Find out more

www.purebeef.co.uk

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